2007 m. lapkričio 10 d., šeštadienis

What means „FILOP“

arch. Gediminas Karpavicius

What means „FILOP“

Abbreviation „FILOP“ for the first time was used on January 13, 1996 commemorating fifth anniversary of Vilnius „Bloody Sunday“. This combination of words was created and for the first time used in the text of a souvenir cancel by an artist Antanas Šakalys. He specified that this mark is not official and it is the initiative of private citizens not indifferented in anniversary of this historical event. Since this time all not official philatelic editions are named „FILOP“. „FILOP“ - is abbreviation created on the basis of two words: „philatelic“ and „opposition“, also it is opposition to the editions of mail of official post. Though this abbreviation is used since 1996 the edition of such material in Lithuania periodically updated exists since 1957. Yet in 1960 the group of cingenial men printed editions named "The Mail of young tourists". It were envelopes, labels and seals which propagated national consciousness. For such “improvisation“ they were terrorized by the Soviet authority through KGB. Criminal activity was incriminated to the main organizer of these editions Stasys Stropus who heavily suffered for it. In 1988 Lithuanian liberation movement „Sąjūdis“ once again caused a wave of the self-edition. Then this self-edition began from posters and leaflets and it was proceeded by creating and printing propaganda envelopes, labels and cancels. Later, after the announcement of restoration of Independence of Lithuania on March,11, 1990 on all territory of Lithuania it were overprinted the Soviet stamps and envelopes by national symbols and texts. Souvenir labels were printed and produced with an occasionally cancels. It was obvious break of the civil initiative and it was a part of socially political movement. In this activity were engaged patriotically oriented people majority of which were philatelists and collectors not indefferented in historical importance of this period. Since 1988 in activity of such „FILOP“ movement more than eighty people integrated in all Lithuania. It shows that in this phenomenon were engaged not only single collectors but it was the social movement which has united motivated people not indifferented to proceeding of historical events of Lithuania. Some of these people already are not between us. They are the well known philatelists: Vytautas Matjošaitis from Raseiniai, Petras Kondratėnas from Panevėžys, Vytautas Vasiliauskas from Vilnius and Antanas Martinionis (chairman of the union of officers in resignation). But philatelic souvenirs created by them remained and today they testify important historical events of these days.
Since 1992 till today self-publishing production of „FILOP“ is stimulated by the official mail of Lithuania‘s post which production, with not the big exceptions, does not maintain any critic. Of course such form of self-publishing as envelopes, cancels, labels or souvenir stamps is linked to philately as it are attributes of mail, but it is very significant tool of propaganda. More than 120 years all countries of the world uses philatelic editions such as stamps, envelopes, special cancels, propagating their national and historical events. These philatelic editions broadly and very quickly distributes the information worldwide about the country from which it are sent. So such even small editions are especially important element of formation of an image of the country and as the mirror reflects its condition and quality. In our country, in contrary - it can be stated that philatelic production of official post of Lithuania does not propagate our country - it operates diametrically oppositely - discredits the state. It is not necessary to be an expert of art aesthetics or historian to state it, it is enough to put near the collection of post stamps of Lithuania as an example the collection of Slovenia, of Ukraine(!) or the neighbour country Latvia and this fact becomes obvious. It is a shame to the expert to see and especially to show for somebody such „masterwork“. The impression as often as not is such that it is a goal to sneer from a theme! Regretfully it is necessary to recognize that for these 50 years of the Soviet education our society was so strongly damaged that it does not pay any attention to it!? The reasons of it probably are the same as well as in all the state – self-seeking of a clan of government officials and indifference of a society. At the same time the citizens who have not lost their self-respect are again compelled to resort FILOP self-edition having the purpose through such way to note the important historical events or to show honour to the persons which are deserved well national respect. Authorities of our state such events or persons ignores for the reason of their not sophistication and often for their local political engagement. FILOP in 2000 initiated and realized the international project - joint cancelating in three Baltic states on the occasion of „Day of liars“ on April,1: in Lithuania (Kaunas), Latvia (Riga) and in Estonia (Tallin). In such way the FILOP activity has also the international experience. FILOP activity in a background of socially - political life of present days is an expression of resistance of a self-conscious part of citizens and such FILOP editions are unique patriotic alternative in philately. The purpose of this movement is protection of national values and traditional principles of a graphic aesthetics against the user nihilism from corrupt authorities dominates over all areas of a life. This movement shows that it is not only narrow philatelic – collection, but socially - political interest of citizens showing the history and traditions of Lithuania. Simultaneously it is necessary to notice that such editions is not a national phenomenon - such phenomenon for a long time is known in all the world, named as „CINDERELLAS“. Differences are only such that FILOP are printed by not mechanized way and in very small copies. For example, in Poland in 1978 in conditions of an underground philatelic editions were printed „Solidarnost“ cindarellas - today these editions are of high collection rarity and has the big historiographic value ( Publishers also have suffered from Jaruzelsky regime). So FILOP editions are created not accidentally but it are inspired of stated above national circumstances. FILOP editions are created and printed by people - idealists which do not seek for material benefit or the profit. Undoubtedly for this reason these editions has persistent historical and the big collectional value.

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